HOW DOES THE LASER WORK?
Tattoo ink particles are too large for the body’s immune system to remove naturally because when tattoo pigment is injected into the lower layers of the skin (dermis) it becomes locked away by a wall of collagen fibres. Q-switched lasers produce very short bursts of high energy laser light. The light is absorbed by the large ink particles, generating heat that shatters the tattoo pigment into minute particles which the body is able to remove. Because the laser energy is selectively absorbed by the tattoo ink, the surrounding skin doesn’t overheat and there is no lasting damage.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE REQUIRED TO REMOVE THE TATTOO?
Most amateur tattoos require 3 to 5 treatment sessions at monthly intervals. Most professional tattoos require 8 to 12 treatment sessions at monthly intervals.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS LIKELY TO BE?
The cost of each session depends on the size and colour of the tattoo. The total cost of the tattoo removal depends on the number of treatments needed and this varies considerably from patient to patient. Prices start from £50 per session.
DO ALL TATTOOS RESPOND TO TREATMENT?
In the majority of cases we are able to remove most tattoos. No one laser can remove all types of tattoo ink; this is why we use 2 different lasers on site to ensure optimal results.
EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR DARK TATTOO INKS
With the overwhelming popularity of tattoos over the last ten years, the market for effective removal has exploded. Tattoos are created by injecting coloured pigment into small deep holes made in the skin. Regardless of whether a tattoo artist or an untrained individual injects the pigment, the marks or designs are relatively permanent. When people subsequently want their tattoos removed, most physicians today consider laser surgery one of the best methods. The Q-switched Nd:YAG is the most frequently used laser for tattoo removal. During treatment, pulses of light from the laser are directed onto the tattoo, breaking up the tattoo pigment. Over the next several weeks the body's macrophages remove the treated pigmented areas. With the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser available on the Harmony®XL laser system, you can effectively treat dark tattoo inks, specifically black (which accounts for more than half of all tattoos), blue and green. Patients should expect to come back for several treatments to achieve expected results.
TECHNOLOGY IN USE
Tattoo ink and natural pigmentation like melanin absorb short pulse duration/high peak energy Q-switched pulses so quickly that they create a photo-acoustic effect within the pigment clusters. This effect breaks down the ink into much smaller particles that can be more easily removed by the body's natural filtering system.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE AND DOES IT HURT?
Typical treatment sessions last between 5 and 40 minutes depending on the size of the tattoo. The lasers do cause discomfort during treatment, similar to being “snapped” with a rubber band. Most patients equate the pain of tattoo removal with the pain of getting the tattoo. Some areas are more sensitive than others, such as ankles and the shoulder blade. The pain tends to decrease as treatment progresses and the tattoo ink fades. Most patients tolerate the discomfort of treatment very well.
ARE THERE ANY AFTER-EFFECTS FOLLOWING TREATMENT?
Redness and swelling may occur, similar to sunburn. This settles within a few days. Some patients may blister, which is quite normal and does not indicate potential scarring. Blistering does not require treatment and will usually clear within days. The treated area should not be exposed to strong sunlight between sessions without the use of sunblock (SPF 30).
DOES THE TREATMENT SCAR?
Our lasers are Q-switched, this means the lasers deliver high power in a very short pulse (25 billionths of a second!) there is normally no lasting damage to the skin. Very occasionally, mild changes in skin texture may occur. *It is important to follow the aftercare instructions carefully to ensure no scarring, healing time 6 weeks - 6 months.